Dozens of emergency service personnel descended on Bideford Quay on Thursday (May 16) but there was no need for concern.

A massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham HobbsA massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham Hobbs

The multi-agency training exercise was held to test the readiness of emergency services in dealing with water rescue and water contamination scenarios in the River Torridge estuary.

The exercise was led by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service with vehicles and personnel deployed from various stations and the RNLI and coastguard, police and ambulance, plus Torridge District Council and the Environment Agency.

The activities started with the rescue of two swimmers who had entered the water in the shadow of the old bridge.

The blue light services were mobilised via the police control room to mirror a real life scenario.

A massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham HobbsA massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham Hobbs

This was followed by the recovery of a boat that was reported to have slipped its moorings, recreated by the council's pilot boat, which in turn mobilised the RNLI lifeboat to recover the drifting vessel.

Later scenes involved the containment by Boom of an imagined oil spill and dealing with hazardous materials. The whole event lasted about two hours.

Janet Williams - Torridge environmental health and community safety manager said: "I wanted to thank Ian Donovan and his colleagues from the fire service for leading on this event, which all agencies found very useful.

"While we all hope we never have to use these skills it was a great test of co-ordinating and working together and helping to improve and sharpen our response plans.

All the emergency service personnel and local authority staff who took part in the Bideford exercise. Picture: Graham HobbsAll the emergency service personnel and local authority staff who took part in the Bideford exercise. Picture: Graham Hobbs

"A big well done to everyone involved."

A massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham HobbsA massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham Hobbs

A massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham HobbsA massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham Hobbs

A massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham HobbsA massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham Hobbs

A massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham HobbsA massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham Hobbs

A massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham HobbsA massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham Hobbs

A massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham HobbsA massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham Hobbs

A massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham HobbsA massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham Hobbs

A massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham HobbsA massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham Hobbs

A massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham HobbsA massive multi-agency exercise of emergency services and local authorities was held at Bideford Quay. Picture: Graham Hobbs